SANDI KNOX is a founding lawyer of Sidley’s Palo Alto office and the Emerging Companies and Venture Capital practice, and leads the firm’s Corporate Venture Capital practice.
Sandi draws on over twenty years of practice in Silicon Valley, as well as experience as a global technology company general counsel, to advise emerging technology and life sciences companies, venture capital funds and corporate venture capital arms of Fortune 100 companies in strategic technology and life sciences transactions, corporate governance and executive compensation matters. She excels at taking a holistic, long-term view of clients’ strategic goals and translating them into creative and efficient financing and technology development transactions, while bridging gaps that can exist between Fortune 100 companies and their emerging growth technology partners, each of whom are critical to the other’s innovation objectives.
Prior to rejoining Sidley in 2016, Sandi served as Vice President and General Counsel for DDN Storage, the world’s largest privately held provider of big data storage solutions to global companies with extreme data storage needs. At DDN, she was responsible for all of the company’s legal matters worldwide, including technology transactions, equity and debt financings, board and corporate governance matters, executive compensation and human resources matters, litigation, and manufacturing, trade, and export compliance matters relevant to hardware and software products and services sold to customers around the world. She brings to Sidley a deep understanding of the challenges global, fast-moving technology businesses face, and the need for practical, high-value advice from outside counsel.
Earlier in her career, Sandi was an associate at a renowned Palo Alto-headquartered law firm, where she represented a broad range of technology companies in venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, secondary securities transactions and public company corporate governance and reporting matters. She also was previously in-house counsel with Electronics for Imaging, where she managed some of EFI’s most important OEM relationships with partners in Japan and Europe.
While in law school, she was a summer law clerk with the Environment and Natural Resources Division (Policy, Legislation and Special Litigation Section) of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she analyzed environmental legislation for the executive branch and assisted with briefing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in litigation regarding the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) on behalf of the United States Trade Representative.
Recent Speaking Engagements and Publications:
- Speaker, National Venture Capital Association Corporate Venture Capital Mentor Studio “Board Member and Board Observer Best Practices,” Palo Alto, CA, June 21, 2019
- Speaker, “Corporate Venture Capital: Legal and Other Considerations,” ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting 2019, Vancouver, BC, March 29, 2019
- Moderator, “Creative Ways CVCs Move the Needle for Portfolio Companies,” Stanford and NVCA Venture Capital Symposium, Stanford, CA, March 27, 2019
- Speaker, “Corporate Venture Capital in an Uncertain Economic Climate,” Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit, Monterey, CA, January 29, 2019 (with Glenn Nash)
- Speaker, “Best Practices for Corporate Venture Capital Programs,” Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit, Monterey, CA, January 31, 2018 (with Rob Carlson and Glenn Nash)
- Speaker, “Partnering – Strategies for Success,” LARTA USDA-CATP Commercialization Training Workshop, Washington, D.C., November 14, 2017
- Moderator, “Strategic Alignment: The Future of Venture Through Corporate Syndication,” GCV Synergize, New York, October 26, 2017
- Panelist, “Commercial Deals with Tech Companies as a Path to Corporate Innovation,” NVCA and Sidley Austin Fall Corporate Venture Workshop, New York, October 25, 2017
- Panelist, “Partnering with Strategics: Research and Commercial Collaborations, and Equity Investments,” Ag Innovation Showcase, St. Louis, MO, September 12, 2017
- Moderator, “Best Practices for Corporate Venture Capital Development,” Global Corporate Venturing & Innovation Summit, Sonoma, CA, January 24-26, 2017
- Speaker, Panel Discussion, “Next Gen Innovation Piloting: Approaches To Support & Nurture Growth,” Accelerating Corporate & Venture Partnerships SHIFT 2016 Conference, New York, October 28, 2016
- Presenter, American Conference Institute Women Leaders in Tech Law workshop on effective communication skills, May 15, 2015
- Author, Lexis-Nexis Global Practice Advisor, article regarding Silicon Valley-style venture financings, 2013
- Guest Lecturer, Northwestern University NUvention: Energy class, March 5, 2012
- Judge, Clean Energy Challenge Business Plan Competition, Chicago, March 1, 2012
- Presenter, Clean Energy Challenge Commercialization Curriculum Webinar: Understanding the Venture Capital Financing Term Sheet, February 14, 2012
- Guest Lecturer, Northwestern University NUvention: Energy class: Top Five Mistakes Cleantech Entrepreneurs Make, February 14, 2012
- Presenter, Clean Energy Challenge Commercialization Curriculum Webinar: Technology Readiness, Market Suitability, and IP Protection, January 10, 2012
- Profiled in Venture Capital Journal (Thomson Reuters), September 2011
- Panelist, Association for Corporate Growth Chicago – Cleantech Market Trends, Chicago, June 21, 2011
- Judge, Midwest Energy Forum Clean Energy Challenge Business Plan Competition, Chicago, March 3, 2011
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1995
- Stanford University, A.B., 1991 (with honors)